Participating in a real, academic research project can be an extremely rewarding, if not vital, aspect of one’s undergraduate education. This is emphatically not because research experience looks nice on a resume (although it does), but rather because research presents a rich learning opportunity that coursework cannot.
It is never too early or too late to participate in a project! There are numerous research opportunities for undergraduate students both here at BU and beyond. However, they will not simply present themselves to the student; the student has to seek out the project. Sometimes, the hardest part is knowing where to look.
Here is a reasonable list of starting points:
An excellent way for students to get involved in research is to email professors whose work they are interested in and ask directly, and then figure out if funding is available. Students should consider working on a volunteer basis at first if necessary. In fact, this is how most of our members find their research opportunities. It is never too early to start doing research!
Boston University’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides funding for the research projects of motivated undergraduate students throughout the year, as well as over the summer. The UROP webpage, located here can provide information for prospective students. A direct link to professors with openings for undergraduate students can be found here.
The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program is funded by the National Science Foundation and a great summer research opportunity to do research outside of BU. A link to physics postings can be found here.